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Santa Fe Public Schools’ new COVID Dashboard will be updated daily with newly confirmed cases after all ‘close contacts’ of an infected student or staff member have been identified.

Since the start of the school year, Santa Fe Public Schools has counted 342 contagious cases of the coronavirus on its campuses, according to an online dashboard the district launched Monday.

The new COVID Dashboard will be updated daily with newly confirmed cases after all “close contacts” of an infected student or staff member have been identified. The data is available in English and Spanish, and cases can be broken down by time period and school using toggles at the top of the page.

The dashboard will only include cases among students and staff who were contagious while on a school campus, the districts said.

The data, which includes cases beginning Aug. 6, shows most cases have been students: So far this month, students accounted for 95 percent of positive tests, and nearly

84 percent of cases overall have been student infections.

Just 24 cases were likely connected to a previous case on campus, according to the dashboard, while the origins of 39 cases remain uncertain.

The rest, according to contact tracing efforts, are connected to coronavirus spread outside schools.

In a news release issued late last week, the district said the new dashboard “will ensure greater transparency and improved reporting to the public.”

But some parents question if the effort is sufficient.

“It’s a good thing they’re doing the tracker, but it’s not enough,” said Rachel Kleinfeld, a parent of children at Acequia Madre Elementary School — where a teacher and several students in one first grade class recently tested positive for coronavirus, leading the entire class to quarantine and causing multiple breakthrough cases among family members.



Kleinfeld and other parents want the district to disclose which teachers are unvaccinated, which it has declined to do, citing a medical privacy policy.

While the district confirmed last week it had identified 10 cases at Acequia Madre, it had only reported six of them previously because four of the students were not on campus while they were contagious.

The COVID Dashboard shows Capital High School, with

32 student cases and five staff cases so far this year, has the highest caseload. Santa Fe High School and Wood Gormley Elementary School trail just behind with 31 and 24 cases, respectively, logged since the start of the school year.

Two of those cases at Wood Gormley were staff members, meaning about 7 percent of the student population at the small east-side school has tested positive.

October holds the highest monthly case count among the district’s students and staff so far, with 114 cases identified as contagious while on campus.

But November is shaping up to take the lead, with 80 so far, compared to 60 at this time last month.

The increasing number of cases in recent weeks comes as the state is rolling out Pfizer vaccinations for kids ages 5 to 11.

According to the New Mexico Department of Health, more than 11,700 — or 6.2 percent — of the state’s kids in that age group had received their first dose by Monday.

Students and staff who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus and have had close contact with someone who has tested positive aren’t required to quarantine if they remain asymptomatic. Starting in December, the district will participate in a new program called Test to Stay, in which unvaccinated people who are deemed “close contacts” will receive three rounds of rapid coronavirus tests following their exposure and will only need to quarantine if they test positive or develop symptoms.

Parents and guardians of unvaccinated children will need to give consent to participate. Those who don’t participate will need to quarantine for 10 school days if they are exposed to the virus.

(12) comments

mark Coble

Let's shut down all non essential businesses, close schools, mandate double masking, 12 feet of social distancing, close restaurants, and close our borders while vaccinating everyone door to door, like it or not. We must use all the tools to stop this deadly, very, very deadly disease. If you disagree you hate grandma and freedom. We must also ignore natural immunity and any talk of herd immunity. We aren't horses! Shutdown until zero cases, it's what we need to do.

Barry Rabkin

It is a very, very deadly and infectious disease. It is a global pandemic. It is NOT like the seasonal flu. It is filling up our hospitals with Covid cases due to idiots who chose not to get vaccinated.

Michelle Rudy

Hard to believe that there are public school teachers who are not fully vaccinated, or , at least have a medical exemption and are tested regularly. We don't need to know their names, but we do need to know that they are not in the classrooms.

Nancy Lockland

Rachel Kleinfield, I wold like to know what STD's you've had as well.

It truly is none of anyone's business who is vaccinated or unvaccinated. Just like it us none of your business what children in your child's school are up to date on vaccines or have an exemption.

David Gunter

I'm glad your ignorant opinion is in the minority and wiser people are running the show.

Diane Gonzales

[thumbup]

Robert Fields

[thumbup]

Steve Tebbetts

[thumbup]

Barry Rabkin

Given that the issue is the highly infectious Covid-19 virus, you couldn’t be more wrong. If the virus remained inside a person and wasn’t easily transmitted from person to person, you would be right. In this situation, medical scientists know more about what is the correct action to take than other people, including mothers who erroneously believe they know what is right for their children.

mark Coble

True, but folks hate the idea of individual responsibilty and freedom. They much prefer the nanny state where they have zero control.

Barry Rabkin

However, no person has the so-called freedom to expose any other person to infection of Covid-19. Not one person has that freedom.

Barry Rabkin

I personally hate the idea of living in the Medieval Age where plagues and other diseases killed people. I am thankful for our medical science that has brought society to a point in time where we can mitigate the death and hospitalization rates from global pandemics. Obviously there is nothing society can do to mitigate against the ignorance and stupidity of people who believe that they have the 'freedom' to expose other people to infection, hospitalization, and death.

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